8 Tips and Tricks to be more Financially Responsible

Learning How To Become Financially Responsible - How I graduated from college debt free plus more tips and tricks for saving money

 

Hey friends,

Today I thought I would share a little story with all of you. I get asked a lot of questions by friends and acquaintances about how I can be so young but so responsible. I always have a hard time explaining that I ended up this way based on the lessons my parents taught me growing up. I was extremely lucky to learn these lessons at a very early age. I didn’t always understand the “why” but I did understand what was expected of me.

I was lucky growing up. Both of my parents had jobs, we had a house to live in, drawers of clothes to wear, and there was always food on the table. However, I felt like the one girl in my class who did not have a Barbie Dream House. You know, the giant pink house with an elevator and fireplace with room enough for Barbie, Ken, and all of their friends?

I can remember going over to my friend’s house and playing with her Barbie Dream House. I wanted one so bad and made sure to tell my parents at every opportunity. I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t buy me one. They had jobs and I had lots of Barbie’s to put in the house. Didn’t I deserve a Barbie Dream House?

The answer is no. I was surrounded by Barbie’s, American Girl Dolls, and numerous other toys. My parents did not have a lot of disposable income but we still received many gifts and toys at Holidays and for our Birthdays. I can now appreciate all of the sacrifices my parents made for us.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that my parents were putting money into a CD and a savings account for me and my sister. The money that they could have spent on more toys for us was put into these accounts to save for our college educations. When I babysat or got money for holidays, my parents made me put half into the bank. I could spend or save the other half on things that I wanted.

Now I realize that this is the most important life lesson my parents taught me; how to be financially responsible.

I started working my junior year of high school and worked all the way through college. Here’s the cool thing, I wanted to work. My parents never forced me to get a job. I saved my money for tuition, books, a new car, etc. I took a lot of pride in being the only person in my college orientation group not relying on their parents for everything.

I graduated from college debt free. Partially because my mom works at the university but also because I knew how to save my money and applied for scholarships to help make up the difference.

Here are a few of my tips and tricks for managing money:

  1. Like my parents taught me at a very early age, put at least 50% of whatever you earn into the bank ASAP. That way you are not tempted to spend the money before it has been fully accounted for. For me, this includes my bi-weekly paychecks which are automatically deposited into my bank account as well as any birthday or holiday money that I may receive. My personal preference is to deposit 100% of my money into the bank first and then decide how the money needs to be spent or saved.
  2. Set financial goals for yourself that you would like to work towards. My main goal right now is to pay off my car and build another bathroom in our house. Since I know my goals it is so much easier for me to save money.
  3. Put $1,000 into an Emergency Fund for any crazy things that happen along the way. Life is crazy and there are always expenses that happen that we didn’t plan for. It’s great knowing that you have an emergency fund to fall back on if needed.
  4. Have different accounts for different reasons. My bank allows us to have several savings/checking accounts with the ability to name them whatever you want. I have a “house fund” and an “emergency fund” in addition to a couple of others.
  5. Communicate goals with your partner or spouse. Brett and I are constantly talking about our goals for the future. It’s so important to be on the same page about financial decisions!
  6. Have a budget. I cannot stress this enough. I have a budget for pretty much everything including groceries, gas, clothing, and “fun”. Your budget can be flexible but try to give yourself a range to stay within.
  7. Be willing to say no. My co-workers ask everyday if I want to grab coffee and the answer is always no. I say no for two reasons. 1. I don’t like coffee. 2. I’d rather save the $2+ every morning for something else. It’s okay to say yes every once in a while but be willing to bring your own coffee or lunch to save a bit of money.
  8. Be flexible. These changes will not happen overnight and that’s okay! Keep working towards your goals and eventually you will get there!

I’ve mentioned before that I work in the financial industry and I can honestly say that my interest in finance started from the lessons that my parents taught me about money. While people around me love to spend their money I would much rather save mine for something I really want or invest it towards my future.

I am lucky to have started saving at an early age but it’s never too late to change your spending habits! I hope these tips and tricks help you reach your financial goals!

Thanks so much for reading!

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Helllloooooooooo!

I finally took it upon myself to order the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han on Amazon before our trip to New York. I’ve been hearing rave reviews for the past couple of years from other bloggers but I had never taken the time to order the books. I’ve been really into reading lately, especially books that I can read in a single day.

With the Netflix movie coming out on Friday so I knew that I needed to read the books before I watched the movie. I don’t even watch TV that much so I’m not sure why I was so worried. I just like to be prepared I guess. Anyway, I took a chance and ordered all three books at once. I figured that if I didn’t like the first one I could return the rest. I usually never order a whole series before reading the first book to see if I like it.

The books arrived just in time for our trip to NY to visit my sister. I read the first book on the two airplane journeys. I couldn’t put it down! Jenny’s writing is amazing and Lara Jean ended up feeling like a friend in the end! Plus, I could not get enough of Peter 😉

Here’s what the back of the book says:

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

The description sounds like your typical YA novel. However, I am here to tell you that this isn’t just a normal book. Jenny Han is SO detailed with her writing and really captures the struggles of a high school girl trying to fit in and make something out of herself. My high school experience wasn’t quite so dramatic but I can relate to how Lara Jean is feeling for much of the book. Confusion, heartbreak, loneliness, and the surprise of falling in love.

Lara Jean is so lovingly quirky and I honestly love her character! She’s sassy while introverted and so very funny. Her mom died when she was young leaving her sisters, Margot and Kitty, and her dad behind. Margot took on most of the responsibilities but when she goes off to Scotland in the beginning of the book Lara Jean is left to take care of the rest of her family. Family is very important to Lara Jean and she makes that known very early on.

Can we also talk about how mortifying it would be to have all of your crushes find out that you liked them at once? I can’t even imagine how Lara Jean was feeling when Peter confronted her about the first letter. Everything happens for a reason though… the letters pushed Lara Jean and Peter back together in the most awkward way. It’s sweet, cringe worthy, and hilarious all at the same time.

So here’s my advice to you, dear reader. Go grab yourself a copy of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and read it. You will thanks me later 🙂

Seriously though, I loved this book and the two sequels, P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I read all three books in a single weekend! They were just that good!

I can’t wait until the Netflix movie comes out on Friday! If I had a group of girl friends I would totally have a viewing party complete with Pocky Sticks and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I will still be watching on Friday, viewing party or not!

Let me know what your favorite summer reads have been! I’ve been averaging about 8 books a month so I need some suggestions!

Thanks so much for reading!

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